May. 24, 2019

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Legislative Update

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 The latest news from the State Capitol


Aidenn Lair Well is Back in Service

Good news! I am pleased to report that Aqua Pennsylvania has returned its Aidenn Lair well in Upper Dublin Township to service. I want to thank Aqua for working with me to make this a reality.

The well, which had been in service since 1967, was removed from service Aug. 7, 2018, when PFAS concentrations, although well below the health advisory of 70 parts per trillion, ranged between 19 and 39 parts per trillion. Since then, Aqua secured Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permits for the design of GAC treatment that has lowered PFAS concentrations of water coming from the well to non-detect.

Aidenn Lair is the third of four wells that Aqua removed from service that have since been restored to service with treatment. Aqua secured permits from DEP to install a mandatory pilot ion exchange treatment system at the North Hills well in Abington Township, which was removed from service at the same time as Aidenn Lair.

A trial run of the ion exchange treatment, which was designed specifically to accommodate the well’s small geographic footprint, is underway. The well remains out of service during the trial, which is necessary until DEP’s approval of the final treatment system, which will then be placed in service.

In the meantime, please be reminded that the latest results of the PFAS testing continues to be posted on its dedicated website, WaterFacts.com.
 

I Joined Wolf for Tour of Water Facility

 
I want to thank Gov. Tom Wolf for coming to Horsham to see one of the carbon filters removing PFAS from drinking water. This is part of a bipartisan effort to eliminate contaminants that entered our water from the Willow Grove Air Base. I am also demanding the federal government reimburse our communities for the cost of cleaning up the military’s mess, and I’ve introduced legislation to reduce the acceptable levels of PFAS in state drinking water to the lowest in the country.


My Bills Would Create Tougher Standards for Drinking Water

While the federal government has finally created an Action Plan on Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), which includes a promise to label PFAS a hazardous chemical and to set national standards. Unfortunately, it will take months to implement.

We don’t have time to wait.

That’s why I’ve introduced House Bill 674 to lower the acceptable levels of PFAS contaminants PFOA and PFOS in our drinking water to 5 parts per trillion (ppt). This would be the lowest in the nation and will enhance public health and safety across the Commonwealth. At present, the standard or highest levels of PFOA and PFOS allowable in Commonwealth drinking water is 70 ppt.

While we’re finally seeing representatives from the federal government acknowledging the military’s responsibility for the contamination, my goal remains to reduce the levels of PFAS contamination to the lowest levels possible and without charging Horsham or Horsham residents for the costs of filtering out the chemicals.

Measurements of PFOA and PFOS spiked in Eastern Montgomery County as a result of the PFOA and PFOS chemicals which were used by U.S. Navy personnel at the Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove.

I’ve also introduced House Bill 675 to add PFOA and PFOS to the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) dangerous substance list. This would allow the Commonwealth to ask the federal government to clean up our drinking water. This bill would also empower every municipality, local water company, or other victim of contamination to bring an action to recover costs of remediation, like filtration, from the party responsible for the pollution.

House Bill 1364 would permit the governor to declare an emergency, similar to a natural disaster like a flood, in a community whose surface and groundwater resources used for public drinking water have been impacted by the release of hazardous substances, including PFOA and PFOS, which measures at or above 15 ppt.
 

Thanks for Joining My Disabilities Walk

 
I would like to thank everyone who came to our Disability Awareness Walk in Hatboro to help break down the stigma associated with individuals with disabilities, and to educate and raise awareness and the need to support services for those individuals. It is important that we also advocate for the Direct Support Professionals who effectively and lovingly care for our loved ones with intellectual and physical disabilities. See more photos here
 

PA’s Opioid Epidemic – Employing More Tactics in the Fight
As we continue to combat the opioid abuse epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth, the House Health Committee has approved legislation to better regulate pain management clinics and help identify patients who previously overdosed.

House Bill 1005 would help health care professionals identify and better treat patients who previously overdosed by requiring first responders and hospital personnel to document the use of Narcan, Naloxone or any other opioid overdose agent in the patient’s record in a state database.

The database was created in 2014 to help track opioid prescriptions to prevent people with an addiction from obtaining multiple scripts from different doctors.

House Bill 1214 would require pain management clinic to be licensed and regulated by the Department of Health to ensure they are not prescribing or dispensing controlled substances inappropriately. While it is important to ensure people who are struggling with chronic pain can access the medications they need, it is equally important to prevent the diversion, misuse and abuse of controlled substances.

Both bills now go to the full House for consideration.
 

Honoring Our Heroes
Monday, May 27, is Memorial Day – a day set aside to honor the more than 1.1 million Americans who have died in wars which the United States entered.

Please take a moment this weekend to remember these men and women who sacrificed their lives for us and for our country.

For more information on Memorial Day and its history, click here.
 

Traveling Over Memorial Day? Check Traffic Conditions on 511PA.com
Travelers can log onto 511PA.com to check current traffic impacts from construction, traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras. The service is free and available 24 hours a day.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

Travelers are always reminded to buckle up, put their phones away and stay sober when behind the wheel.

In other PennDOT news, driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27, for the holiday. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.
 

Reminder: Fish for Free on Sunday
 
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is hosting the first of its two annual Fish for Free Days this Sunday, May 26.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy fishing in any of Pennsylvania’s waterways, even if you don’t have a license.

Both residents and non-residents are eligible. Just make sure you follow all other fishing regulations.

For your convenience, there are even opportunities to borrow equipment from certain sites at state parks and other locations. You can find those locations by clicking here.

The second Fish for Free day is scheduled for Thursday, July 4.
 
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110 Ryan Office Building, PO Box 202152, Harrisburg PA 17120-2152 | Phone (717) 787--6886
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